The gun industry claims to be a big job creator. Here’s why you shouldn’t believe it

The gun industry claims to be a big job creator. Here's why you shouldn't believe it

Back on May 11, when the most vivid impressions of the carnage of gun violence were still coming from Parkland, Fla., the conservative TV commentator S.E. Cupp defended the gun industry with a tweet stating that the industry had "created 91,000 jobs over the past 5 years." She added, "That’s people, not profits." Cupp was responding to a tweet from Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, praising Dick’s Sporting Goods for its decision to stop selling firearms in its stores. We asked Cupp via Twitter for the source of her statistic. She hasn’t responded, but no matter: We know the source. It’s the gun lobby, specifically the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which identifies itself as "the firearms industry trade association." Leaving aside the unwittingly gruesome timing of Cupp’s tweet, which came a mere seven days before a gunman killed two teachers and eight students at Santa Fe High School outside Houston, the claim warrants some close analysis, which it has received most recently from Invictus , a financial industry figure who posts pseudonymously at Barry Ritholtz’s Big Picture blog, in a post Monday. As Invictus and others have observed, it’s only fair that any assertion of the gun industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy be netted out against its cost. We don’t have figures for firearm-related deaths for the last five years, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that from 2011 to 2015, firearms took the lives of 169,396 people in the U.S. […]

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